Newly born dentate granule neurons after pilocarpine-induced epilepsy have hilar basal dendrites with immature synapses

Epilepsy Res. 2006 Apr;69(1):53-66. doi: 10.1016/j.eplepsyres.2005.12.003. Epub 2006 Feb 15.


Neurogenesis in the subgranular zone of the dentate gyrus persists throughout the lifespan of mammals, and the resulting newly born neurons are incorporated into existing hippocampal circuitry. Seizures increase the rate of neurogenesis in the adult rodent brain and result in granule cells in the dentate gyrus with basal dendrites. Using doublecortin (DCX) immunocytochemistry to label newly generated neurons the current study focuses on the electron microscopic features of DCX-labeled cell bodies and dendritic processes in the dentate gyrus of rats with pilocarpine-induced epilepsy. At the base of the granule cell layer clusters of cells that include up to six DCX-labeled cell bodies were observed. The cell bodies in these clusters lacked a one-to-one association with an astrocyte cell body and its processes, a relationship that is typical for newly born granule cells in control rats. Also, DCX-labeled basal dendrites in the hilus had immature synapses while those in control rats lacked synapses. These results indicate that increased neurogenesis after seizures alters the one-to-one relationship between astrocytes and DCX-labeled newly generated neurons at the base of the granule cell layer. The data also suggest that the synapses on DCX-labeled hilar basal dendrites contribute to the persistence of hilar basal dendrites on neurons born after pilocarpine-induced seizures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Astrocytes
  • Dendrites / physiology*
  • Dentate Gyrus / cytology*
  • Dentate Gyrus / physiopathology
  • Hippocampus / cytology
  • Hippocampus / physiopathology
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / metabolism*
  • Neuropeptides / metabolism*
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Pilocarpine
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Status Epilepticus / chemically induced
  • Status Epilepticus / physiopathology*
  • Synapses / physiology*


  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • Neuropeptides
  • Phosphoproteins
  • doublecortin protein
  • Pilocarpine